A WORRIED mum plans to test her breast implants to see if they have released harmful toxins in her body.
Michelle Hudson, from Ford Estate, is one of the scores of Wearside women affected by faulty PIP implants.
But, unlike many who are having to pay thousands of pounds for replacement breast surgery, Michelle is having hers done for free at Spire Hospital Washington.
Once she has had her operation, due in the next couple of weeks, she hopes to send her implants away for tests.
“I’ve asked to have my implants back once they’ve been removed,” said the 34-year-old.
“I’ve had lots of problems over the past couple of years such as stomach problems and flu-like symptoms.
“I feel like I’ve got a cold all the time.
“Although there’s no medical confirmation, women I’ve spoken to on PIP forums say they have felt the same.
“I can’t wait to get these horrible things out of me.”
This will be the mother-of-three’s fifth breast operation.
Michelle, of Front Road, had turned to private hospital Spire for help after problems after three NHS breast operations.
Her first operation in 2001, at the former Dryburn Hospital in Durham, proved problematic after she developed capsular contraction where the skin tightens around the implant.
A second operation to replace those implants led to a burst scar in which the implant protruded out of her skin.
A third operation on the NHS went seemingly well, but left her with bad zipper-effect scarring.
In a last-ditch attempt to solve the problem, Michelle took out a loan in 2006 to pay £4,450 for a private operation at Spire, then run by Bupa.
She has since learnt that she was fitted with PIP implants both by the NHS and Bupa.
Although she does not know for certain if her implant has ruptured, Spire is offering its patients free removal and replacement surgery.
Other private clinics, such as Transform and Harley Medical Group, are charging thousands for the surgery.
Michelle, mum to Natalie, 19, Connor, 14, and Elisha, nine, said: “My surgeon has been excellent.
“He says he is happy to replace the implants even though I haven’t had a scan to show there’s a rupture.
“I feel like one has ruptured. One is completely different to the other. It lies differently and feels empty.
“Who knows what it could have been leaking into my body. That’s why I want to have tests done.
“All the women on the PIP forums are happy that I am having my surgery for free.
“But I think it’s disgusting that all these women have been abandoned by their clinics.
“On our forum it’s 36 per cent, which is a lot higher to the figure quoted by the Government.”